Gravel/Concrete Driveway Apron - Looking for Advice

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Old 10-13-13, 04:02 PM
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Gravel/Concrete Driveway Apron - Looking for Advice

The gravel apron over the culvert isn't holding up real well. I'm an avid DIY'er with very little concrete experience and I'd like to make sure to protect my drainage pipe.


Problems with current setup:
  • Gravel is escaping at the sides
  • Some people cut the corner too tight
  • Pipe is starting to collapse at the ends


Options I see:
  1. Put concrete at the ends to hold in the gravel
  2. Create a concrete apron


After looking at it, I think I'd like to do the entire apron. Is this too big of a project? And, do you have any tips you'd give a beginner?




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbDOP7_NPDU
 
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Old 10-13-13, 08:37 PM
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My very first concrete placement was a complete driveway, about 15' by 80'. I was fortunate enough to have a co-worker helping me--or rather, who I helped--and he was a very skilled concrete finisher. It was just the two of us working, and the job turned out extremely well. I learned enough on that project to get me started on a 40+ year concrete "love affair" of sorts.

I don't know your capabilities, so I won't try to steer you one way or the other. I do think I would pour the complete apron and either some contiguous culvert endwalls or sloped concrete end sections. If you decide to do the entire apron, I suggest you pour it at least 6" thick, to support the occasional heavy truck that will use it to turn around or even make a delivery to your property. The video makes me think you won't have that thickness over the pipe, so you should reinforce the concrete with rebar every few feet (oriented in the direction of traffic on the driveway) to prevent the cracking that will otherwise happen, parallel to and along the top of the pipe. Make sure to groove a centerline joint at the mid-point of the pipe, too.

You could learn a lot by having a few concrete outfits look at it and give you bids. Pick their brains with lots of questions, and the experiences may give you better direction regarding whether you should do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you. Also, the squashed ends of your culvert are easily corrected (restored to their circular shape) by using a small bottle jack and a curved piece of heavy steel inserted at the top jacking point)--I've trued up several such pipes, at least one of which was far worse than yours appears to be.
 
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Old 10-14-13, 01:17 PM
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Thanks for the great advice, it all made sense.

I have a lot of projects going on this fall. How urgent do you think I ought to make this project? If I'm at risk of the entire pipe collapsing, then I'll gladly put this at the top of my list. Else, I'd love to wait to Spring.

If it was your driveway, and you were busy this fall, what would you do? Wait until Spring?
 
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Old 10-14-13, 01:21 PM
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If it was mine, I think waiting until Spring would be the plan of attack. Unless I couldn't put up with the Other Half's nagging about it until then.

P.S. I doubt your culvert is in any danger of collapsing. The squashed end got that way from vehicles or equipment impacting it. When you do the concrete work, you can bevel-cut both culvert ends to match the slope of the concrete end treatment, eliminating any possibility of future deformations.
 
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Old 10-14-13, 03:39 PM
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Great news.

Perhaps there's a way to put large spikes near the culvert ends.... for encouragement and consequences.

Thanks for all the help.
 
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